How to Pick the “Right” Wood for Your Floors

Lisa Horvath

We have many visitors come to us who are looking to add the charm of reclaimed wood in their homes, offices, retail stores and restaurants. The nail holes, nicks, grooves, and knots along with the already worn finish creates personality and character in flooring that you can’t find in a new piece of lumber.

So once you’ve decided to move forward with reclaimed wood floors, it’s time to pick the type of reclaimed wood to use. This could be a tedious process, but to help you along the way, we’ve asked our very own Lisa Horvath a few questions to help you find the “right” type of wood for you.


Q: So where do we begin?

A: I typically ask a few questions to try and narrow in on what a customer is looking for. "What rooms are you thinking of doing? How many people live in the house? Any pets? If so, what and how many? Measurements?” Inspiration pictures always help the process!


Q: Which types of wood should we look for in reclaimed flooring?

A: We have many species and floors to choose from, which includes our: American Classic flooring (a mix of Red and White Oak); Old Pub flooring (mix of Hemlock, Pine, Doug Fir and Poplar); Summer Sunset (Heart Pine); Hay Field (Hickory); Sand Dune (White Pine); Harvest (a mix of Oak, Hickory, Maple, and Beech); Old World Charm (American Chestnut); Bermuda Surf (Beech); and Warm Glow ( American Walnut).


Q: Does the type of wood (hardwood vs softwood) that we put down for flooring really matter?

A: Yes, depending on the rooms the wood will be installed. Also, lifestyle comes into consideration when choosing the species. This is where the amount of foot traffic and pets come into play. We then would discuss what woods are recommended in what rooms. 


Q: Ok, we like this type of wood, but want it to look like this color. Can that be done?

A: Sure, The color comes into play while picking out the wood species. All species take color differently. That is where inspiration pictures help us out tremendously. It helps us guide you to choose the right type for you.  


Q: Is there a type of wood that we should stay away from? Why?

A: This is a great question. Sometimes certain species of wood are recommended in certain rooms. Really it is more preference then staying away from some species. 


Q: Are you going to cut off all of the imperfections of the wood?

A: NO!! LOL:) Those imperfections are what makes reclaimed floors stand out from the new wood that is out there. 


Q: Are we going to have to do anything special to take care of the floor once it is installed and finished?

A: Yes, depending on the type of finish that was done. If we do the install and finishing we recommend either a maintenance plan or give you what you need to maintain your new old floor!


Q: If our room is 1,000 sq. ft, do we need to order more than that?

A: We recommend a cutting allowance between 10% - 20% be added to your order.


Q: Is there a type of wood that will hold up better with pets?

A: Really depends on your tolerance level. Pets will scratch and dent your wood flooring old or new wood. The finish is an important factor when discussing your flooring job. I know there is a lot of questions asked and we get personal but we really want you to make the right choice and be very happy about your investment.


Q: Installation can be expensive. Can I do it myself?

A: I guess you can. It takes a lot of equipment and knowledge to do the right install. More questions are asked. Is the floor going over plywood? Concrete? Radiant heat? Just floor joists? You really need to have the right installer!


If you have any more flooring questions, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask!